By Peter Oriyomi
The traditionalists have said that the last Sunday grusome murder of several Christian worshippers at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State by unknown gunmen is a wake-up to all Nigerians to be firm in securing their communities.
They insisted that “non conventional and traditional methods” remain the only way to fight and drive away those attacking and killing innocent Nigerians in their communities.
The traditionalists on the platform of the Ancient Religion Societies of African Descendants International Council (ARSADIC) said there was no doubt that the government had failed and could no longer secure lives and property of Nigerians.
In a statement on by their President, Chief Ifagbenusola Atanda, who is the Asiwaju Awo Agbaye, the traditional worshippers said the time has come for everyone to adopt traditional means like in the time past to step up security in “our various communities and keep intruders and aggressors at bay.”
The statement read: “For whatever evil that befalls us, we are all to be blamed because God has continued to give us signs of calamities ahead but we have not done enough to prepare or show capacity to push intruders and aggressors away from our communities.
“For many unbroken years, the bad elements within the country, who we believe are being driven by expansionist agenda, keep up their senseless killings and kidnappings of our people on the road, in the sanctuary of religious places, comfort of our homes and work fields to intimidate us but we are yet to stand up and suqare up to them.
“Many traditional rulers, very prominent Nigerians and religious leaders, including the Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Samuel Kanu-Uche, have been kidnapped and huge ransoms received from them before their release. Even some have been killed by these criminal elements always described as unknown gunnmen or bandits.
“God will never come down to defend us from the sinister and prey of these evil-minded and blood-thirsty monsters. He has endowed us with brain and knowledge of what to do to survive as a people in all situations.
“And we want to assure our people that we are not going to fold our arms and allow these people to operate freely and unchecked on our God-given land. But we need the cooperation of the people and our traditional rulers to play our part as traditionalists, who are prepared to combat these aggressive crooks the way our forefathers did to their forebears.”
The traditionalists lamented non cooperation of many traditional rulers, particularly in Yoruba land to work with them to secure their domains and by extension promote and protect the tradition and culture of their people to which they have sworn to uphold.
According to them, the monarchs are carried away by their “newfound” religious faiths and, therefore, could not maintain a spiritual balance required of them as royal fathers to their subjects.
The traditionalists, who maintained that the assailants should not be seen Moslems but as terrorists, asked the Yoruba people to put aside their religious differences and come together to fight a common cause for posterity.